Salt – the element that brings forth and magnifies flavor. Traded for centuries and at one time more expensive than gold, salt is the one thing every good kitchen cannot be without. Basic as it is, it is essential to the enjoyment of food. Salt in Canterbury is also basic, but not in the not-trying-very-hard sort of way. It’s more like they’ve taken a restaurant and stripped it back so that no element of the building or furniture distract from the reason you are there: the food.
Having opened a mere four months ago, Salt has been readily accepted by the locals and it is already impossible to get a table on a weekend without booking in advance. The ten or so tables are set out around the small dining room which is complete with character beams and pillars. Low lighting, chalkboards and bare wood tables complete the pared back, but comfortable, look and the food is presented simply but beautifully on large plates and wooden boards.
The idea behind Salt is small plates – an idea that regular readers will know I am a big advocate of. But instead of Spanish or Mediterranean ‘light bites’, this is British produce at its best made into small sharing plates which are perfect to enjoy with a glass of wine or a beer. With a daily changing menu depending on what’s available at the market, there will always be something to stimulate your taste buds here and not just the old standbys. There was herring. There were beef cheeks. They’re obviously pushing the boundaries a little and giving the more adventurous something to get stuck in to – although I did hear a gentleman behind us say he wouldn’t be eating any cheeks. I wanted to turn around and tell him they would be the beefiest, tenderest meat he’d ever tasted (which I can confirm they were), but I refrained.
Not only is the food fabulous, but there was also a clear passion both for the food and for making sure everyone had an excellent experience – which we definitely did and extra steps were taken to make sure we did. Although there are only three wine choices, red, white or rosé – which I will admit I was kind of surprised by – they are specifically chosen to go with the menu and the white we had was excellent. Almost across the board things were very reasonably priced.
It thrills me that a place like this is thriving in Canterbury, and with other restaurants like The Goods Shed, Deeson’s, Copper and Spices, The Marquis at Alkham, Rocksalt and The Sportsman all within a stone’s throw, Kent is waving its foodie flag pretty high these days. So, don’t you fancy a weekend at the seaside with a surplus of good restaurants to choose from?
Looking for somewhere to eat out in Kent? Come try my supper club!